14 January 2012

14 Jan - "Let's just pack your car up and we'll go somewhere and start over"

The Burning Plain (2008)
dir. Guillermo Arriaga

Charlize Theron (2 Days in the Valley, 1996)
John Corbett (Dreamland, 2006)
Robin Tunney (The Craft, 1996)
Marty Papazian (The Island, 2005)
Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men: First Class, 2011)
Seth McGrath (Twilight, 2008)
JD Pardo (A Cinderella Story, 2004)
Rachel Ticotin (Don Juan DeMarco, 1994)
Taylor Warden (Employee of the Month, 2006)
Kim Basinger (Batman, 1989)
Fernanda Romero

This was a real depressing movie which was nice because as I recall I was real depressed when I watched it. It had a very clever plot device, sort of like a Grand Hotel Theme, but gradually you learn that what you thought were parallel narratives are more deeply connected than you originally thought. This is satisfying because as we follow the main character's development and recovery, we simultaneously witness her unraveling and subsequent breakdown.

I think the most confusing part of the movie, for me, was the developing romance between Santiago and Mariana, after the death of his father and her mother. At first I thought that I was supposed to seeing something darker than love, perhaps something more like a desperate need for acceptance or affection. But then later in the film I was forced to reevaluate that position, when Mariana's return to Santiago is supposed to symbolize some sort of rebirth, and she confesses that she only left him in the first place because of self-loathing and the fear that history always repeats itself. Even so, the interactions between those teenagers seemed pretty twisted, at least to me.

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